Sunday, June 12, 2011

Family History: UK Census.

My grandfather, Robert Nixon, on the 1911 UK Census.

I broke down and paid the 10.00 to see the page where my grandfather is listed. That is because I have started watching the Reality Show The Manor, on YouTube, where a family and some volunteers play at "Upstairs Downstairs."

The show mentioned that FOOTMAN, helpers to the Butler, were paid by the Inch so to speak. The taller they were the more they made. My grandfather was 6 foot 4. It also said they were supposed to be goodlooking as they 'represented the family' upfront.

But they were not supposed to commit any hanky panky with the maids.

Hmm. The story goes my grandfather was so nice looking the daughter of the Earl he worked for, in Helmsley, (so it says here) fell in love with him, which is how he ended up working in Malaya as a planter.

The Earl gave him the money... to get rid of him. It was kind of a privilege to get a chance to make money in Malaya. Ha!

My play, Looking for Mrs. Peel, tells all about his wife, Dorothy Nixon, who survived Changi and the Double Tenth Torture Incident.

Now, I can see that my great grandfather was also Robert, and he was a Delver in a stone quarry in Nawton. (I had heard he worked in a saw mill, from my brother.)

My grandmother, Mary Ellen. Probably Nesfield as that was my father's middle name.

Maybe he did later.

My grandfather's brother, John Thomas,was a clerk in a railway office and a younger sister, Ethel, was a student.

Now, I found my grandmother, but she was in boarding school. 15. And I ran out of credits to look up the other Forsters to see exactly who my grandmother was. I know my great grandfather was a Methodist Minister.

I saw no couples in Teesdale who would obviously be parents of her. ANd I saw no NORA and I am sure my father said I had an Aunt Nora. He stayed with her in the 30's, when his parents sent him from Malaya. I should look her up. That's what I will do, now!

Right after I try to figure out who the Earl was. Earl of Helmsley?

I did.. Dunscombe Park, but these people didn't have a daughter of the age to fall in love.. not in 1911. It appears. Maybe it's a family myth, or it's another young woman of the family.